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Exhibit Archive: 2018-19

Confronting Violence, Improving Women's Lives


Activists and reformers in the United States have long recognized the harm of domestic violence and sought to improve the lives of women who were battered. During the late 20th century, nurses took up the call. With passion and persistence, they worked to reform a medical profession that overwhelmingly failed to acknowledge violence against women as a serious health issue. Beginning in the late 1970s, nurses were the vanguard as they pushed the larger medical community to identify victims, adequately respond to their needs, and work toward the prevention of domestic violence. This exhibit tells that story.

The exhibit is free and open to all during normal library hours. Parking is available for a fee in the 8th Street parking deck. If special accommodations are needed, please contact Thelma Mack, research and education coordinator, at (804) 828-0017.

Affiliated Events

Domestic Violence and Health Care
Oct. 11, 12:10–1 p.m.
Tompkins-McCaw Library
Special Collections and Archives Reading Room
Offers an inside look at the highly regarded domestic violence program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

The Clothesline Project
Oct. 8–12, normal library hours
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
An exhibit featuring T-shirts decorated with powerful messages by sexual assault survivors or by those who have lost loved ones to sexual assault and is intended to raise awareness in the wider community about the prevalence of sexual assault and to foster a culture of support and healing. This exhibit is organized by SAVES (Students Advocating Violence Education and Support), a student-led itiative of the VCU Wellness Resource Center.

Silent Witness 
Oct. 8–12, normal library hours
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
A traveling memorial for Virginians killed as a result of domestic violence, featuring lifesize silhouettes of victims. The memorial is organized by Amy Cook, Ph.D. and students from her service-learning course Crime and Delinquency Prevention and is a partnership between the Wilder School and SAVES.

Image: National Organization for Women (NOW) anti-violence rally, Washington DC, 1995, by Ellen Shub